Ezekiel was a prophet to a nation that had forgotten God, but a nation that forgets God destroys not God, but itself. Had God forgotten her became Israel’s true fear. He had not, and Ezekiel, a book of hope, closes with the prophet’s final word, “And the name of the city from that time on shall be, ‘The Lord Is There’” (Ezekiel 48:35).
A nation that had forgotten God was first to space in 1961. “Why should you clutch at God?” Nikita Khrushchev, Premier of the Soviet Union, challenged any who believe. “We have flown into space and saw no God.” United States astronaut William Anders responded on Christmas Eve, 1968, as Apollo 8 entered lunar orbit on the first manned mission to the Moon, “We are now approaching lunar sunrise and, for all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send to you. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.”
Astronaut Jim Lovell continued, “And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.”
Astronaut Frank Borman closed, “And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas – and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth.”
Seven months later, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin step onto the surface of the moon. “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou has ordained,” read Aldrin from Psalm 8, “What is man that thou art mindful of him? And the Son of Man, that thou visitest Him?”
“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” ~Romans 1:20
Astronaut John Glenn, who had circled the earth three times on a space flight in 1963, did it again in 1998 aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. At age 77, he took time to reflect as he observed the heavens and earth from the windows of Discovery, “To look out at this kind of creation and not believe in God is to me impossible.”
“The Lord Is There” ~Ezekiel 48:35
God of Heavens, Your glory shines in all that I see. The whole world speaks of You. Your majesty is seen in the depth of sea and the breadth of space. The world is in Your palm, and You breathe life into me. It makes sense that my thoughts turn to You, but I am amazed that Your thoughts turn to me. Who am I? And yet You delight in me.
God, may I find my pleasure and purpose in following You.